alto, bajo, frágil

portonovo ~ alto, bajo, frágil (independent, 2001)

portonovo is one of those rare bands that has a short life but produces vital albums for the life of some people... i consider myself one of these 'people' and a portonovo orphan. i remember that i cried the day i knew that the band was over.
they were a band from madrid formed by a girl and five boys that started in 1999 and released a demo ep called 'no es bueno mirar al sol' and an album on jabalina musica.
alto, bajo, frágil... (tall, short, fragile...) is their first demo and already show their unique sinesthesic pop creating delicate images and landscapes with rich melodies and beautiful lyrics. in fact, one of the things that really hooked me up on portonovo were the lyrics.
the dialogue between guitars and calm electronic beats it's marvellous. and they manage to create an idilic and yet completely urban vibe. as if in the middle of a big city were some 'breath in' spaces where you'd be alone (and melancholic).
what is impressive to me is how effective they are to share emotions using very simple ways...
it has seven songs that, apart from their beauty, rise because of the natural attraction of their lyrics, and because of the originality of the rhythms programmed, in which the delicate reyes' voice, remarked by carlos' chorus, fit like a ring to melodies equalable to the best moments of the unfinishing donosti school.
if you understand spanish, pay attention to the lyrics of 'metas volantes' and 'no es bueno mirar al sol'. i feel so close to these two songs that i'm pretty sure that they'll be part of my life for a long time. in 'no es bueno mirar al sol' (something like 'it isn't good to stare at the sun') their ability to talk about everyday situation with a delicate view is genius... in one verse they sing:

siempre quise haber podido verte
volviendo a tu casa del colegio
una tarde de lluvia y viento,
andando deprisa para no mojarte el pelo.
i've always wanted to see you
coming back to home from school
an afternoon of rain and wind,
walking fast so you wouldn't get your hair wet.

(ok, my english translation is awful but the idea is there...)

01. metas volantes
02. loplop
03. sus lagartos
04. no es bueno mirar al sol
05. alto, bajo, frágil
06. ártico
07. nova

(years after the band was over, their site was still online, but when i opened the page today to put a link here there's was nothing left...)

1 comment:

L said...

Thanks so much for this - it's so unusual to find a Spanish pop record on an english-speaking page. Such great music.